Ok so I look over a ton of things and tweak the models on run to run even the off runs and what I see right now is a precip shield Friday and Friday night of .12" to .20" across the area of DC to Trenton.
The precip is big but light right simply due to two system crossing the east coast. One will be north and the other south of the Mid Atlantic region. The snow ratio (of fluff factor) for this system will be anywhere from 12:1 down in the DC/Baltimore area to 14:1 in the Lehigh Valley, Poconos, North Jersey and NYC Metro. Philly sits in that 13:1 range so if you do the low side right now you get 1.5" of snow...the high side 2.6" of snow.
The safe call right now is 1-3" with most a winter weather advisory for Friday night. Could it go a little higher...sure it can. Can it go a bit lower...perhaps. This is not the biggest storm we'll see this winter it's just one that puts some snow in your backyard as we head into the weekend.
Our models page is easy and it has a local focus on the I-95 area. Simply click on the link above and you can see all the models in one place and the output as they come in. We used a variety of weather model sites and I use this page all the time.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT 9:30PM TONIGHT ?
Here is the schedule for the 1st of the very important model runs tonight. Tonight will not carve the storm track in stone nor lock in the 1-3" I'm feeling right now but it will start to lean us closer to our first snow map. If I see enough info and tracking/trending I may post a snow map later tonight but I gotta feel it.
NAM about 9:30pm
GFS about 10:30pm
CANADIAN about midnight
Euro about 1:00am
Other models are sandwiched between the BIG FOUR models above, like the NOGAPS, JMA (Japan) and others.
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Rob Guarino is the Chief Meteorologist at KVOA NBC 4 in Tucson, and also runs the nationally focused weather website http://liveweatherblogs.com. We are halfway through the 2012-2013 winter season, see what Rob's thoughts are on what the rest of the season will bring.
Rob I think this system is not that far from a 2-4 or 3-5" type deal. We have plenty or artic air to increase ratios and we saw a slight shift north in the 18z runs and that was with old data. With the New data we may see another shift albeit a small one but maybe enough to say 2"+